• Justin Handlin

Let's Talk Dungeons of Drakkenheim with Dungeon Dudes

The legendary Dungeon Dudes join Crit Academy on 6/27/21 @7pm Eastern to talk about their homebrew world Dungeons of Drakkenheim and its upcoming Kickstarter project!

If you don't know, Dungeons of Drakkenheim follows the conflict and comedy-filled adventures of a brash prince, a streetwise survivor, and a meddlesome mage as they confront monsters and mystery in the meteor-blasted ruins of a fantasy city.

A Dungeons & Dragons 5e actual play campaign presented by the DUNGEON DUDES! Featuring Monty Martin, Kelly McLaughlin, Jill Danaitis, and Joe O'Gorman.

We're excited to have Kelly and Monty on to tell us a bit about themselves and their projects. Their most memorable D&D moments. The best piece of gaming advice they've ever received. Their process on building the world of Drakkenheim and so much more.

Capes & Crooks a 5e Superhero RPG playtest streams bi-weekly on Fridays. This is our upcoming Kickstarter Project that launches 6/29/21. To sign up for notifications on this project visit our website!

RPG Phatloot Giveaway Way of the Druid by DM Conclave

The most obscure and mystical of character classes – The Druid - has been gifted with many more game options for the ones who treasure, defend and nurture Nature. Within its pages, you will find five new Druid Circles that will enrich your experience. Three Druidic Factions. Nine new Spells to aid in your Way. No less than forty-eight Herbs and twenty Herbalism Recipes for the Herbalism skill and so much more!

Winner: tom.burdak

Didn’t win? Np, head towww.critacademy.com and subscribe for your chance to win.

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Character Concept:

To be provided by Dungeon Dudes!

Monster Variant:


Origin Statblock: Winter Wolf

Lost Features: Immunity to cold(change to psychic), cold breath, language,

Confusion Breath (Recharge 6). The creature exhales a discombobulating gas in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save an affected target can’t take reactions and must roll a d4 at the start of each of its turns to determine its behavior for that turn.

  1. The creature uses all its movement to move in a random direction. To determine the direction, roll a d8 and assign a direction to each die face. The creature doesn’t take an action this turn.

  2. The creature doesn’t move or take actions this turn.

  3. The creature uses its action to make a melee attack against a randomly determined creature within its reach. If there is no creature within its reach, the creature does nothing this turn.

  4. The creature can act and move normally.


Vault of Souls: Skill Challenge

Reaching the Vault of Souls, a massive ancient city filled with a variety of spirits and undead creatures. The city was besieged by a necromancer named Dazad the Defiler and his undead army. An adventurer by the name of Ithzarr the Wise, an archmage, had no choice but to banish the entire city into a demiplane to rid the area of the undead plague. The city is slowly beginning to phase back into the world and its undead plague with it.

The characters must dig through some ruins to discover the entrance to Ithzarr’s lost tower. Once inside they must recover keys to the ritual spell and materials needed to push it back into its demiplane. If they don’t, the undead scourge will fully return to the realm. After locating the tower's location, they must find a way to enter inside and convince its guardian to let them search its lore.

Level: Any.

Complexity: Requires 10 Successes before 4 Failures

Stage 1: Combing the Ruins Rubble and detritus covers arcane sigils inscribed on the library's foundation. Reaching the library requires that the sigils be uncovered. After the heroes achieve 3 successes at this stage, move on to Stage 2.

Primary Skills: Arcana, Athletics, Perception

Arcana (medium DC by level): The character can identify arcane magical sigils worn and hidden under rubble that can be used to transport the characters to the tower.

Athletics/Investigation/Perception (easy DC by level): The character can help clear the area of rubble or search the area for evidence of how to gain access to the library. A successful check grants advantage on the next arcana check.

Stage 2: Transporting to the tower, and getting to the library requires the characters to reactivate the magical sigils inscribed on its foundation. After the characters achieve 3 successes at this stage, move on to Stage 3.

If the characters fail the skill challenge at this stage, the guardian is obliged to summon them to the tower, but they are considered intruders and must fight off a medium-level threat. Additionally, the stage 3 skill challenges increase their DC by 3.

Primary Skills: Arcana, Investigation

Arcana/Investigation (medium DC by level): The character manipulates the sigils to transport the party to the tower.

Stage 3: Exploring the tower’s library, the characters comb the tomes and scrolls for the information they seek which is helped or hindered by the tower’s guardian. To complete the skill challenge successfully, the characters must achieve 4 successes at this stage.

Primary Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, History, Insight, Perception, Stealth

Deception/Persuasion (moderate DC by level): The character convinces the guardian to help them find the needed piece of information.

History (moderate DC by level): The character impresses the guardian with his or her knowledge of history or is able to navigate the library to find the information the party needs.

Insight (moderate DC by level): The character gauges the guardian's feelings or motivations.

Investigation/Perception (moderate DC by level): The character combs the library, looking for the information the party needs.

Total Success: The characters locate the information about the ritual and the required stone attuned to the demiplane in a timely manner.

Success: The characters locate the information about the ritual and the required stone attuned to the demiplane. Their search is long and exhausting. By the time they find the information, the Vault of Souls had transferred to the material realm. They can still banish it back, but the area becomes flooded with undead and unholy spirits.

Failure: The characters learn only a fragment of the necessary information and misidentify the appropriate material. This sends the vault of souls to another random plane of existence.

Magic Item:

Tome of Material Perfection (rare) from Blackmagus

A treatise on material component preparation and improvement by Master Wizard Robert Kross.

This work is most interesting to those interested the science of how material components interact with spells and how to get more out of their items surrounding each spell.

The reader must know the following languages: common, draconic, infernal.

This course requires 12 hours of study.

Needs a concentration check DC 20 for each hour of study or the time is wasted, may try again after short rest. Each time a save is successful the DC drops by 1.

After 12 hours of successful study the caster will be able to modify and improve material components enough to make a difference with arcane effects.

Through much trial and error, Master Kross, documented many spell changes when the components for spells where treated before use. Unfortunately, he never was able to stop consumable components from being consumed, merely delayed for a time.

First refinement is compression. Through the use of a runic cylinder. The amount of the component to be compressed equal to (spell level + 1 in gold), is placed in the container and activated. Once complete , the device produces 1 usable compressed item. The resulting compressed component will have the following effects to a spell. Non-damaging effects are increases by 50%, like Light, instead of 20ft of light it would be 30 ft. Damaging spells die increase by 1, d4 to d6, to d8, and so on.

For 100% refinement, cost is double and non damage effects are 100 increased, damaging spells still only get the single increase in damage die, but get to reroll all 1 and 2. Taking 10 minutes per level to complete.

Second refinement is incasing. Through the use of a runic crucible, metal may be melted down to glaze the item. This magically charged metal changes color (casters choice). Once an item is incased and is used, the spells duration is extended by half or doubled. For half the cost is 5 gp for spell levels 3 and under and 10 gp for spell levels 4-6. 15 gp for spell levels 7-9, but they can only be extended by half. Takes 15 minutes per spell level to complete.

Third refinement is fortification. Through the use of a platinum-tipped etcher with a hollow tube that is ‘loaded’ with the dust of precious gems. As it moves on the surface of the component, that costs 1 gp or more, it marks the item with the gem dust. The runes imbedded reinforce for longevity. The amount of dust used costs 50% of the base item, also covers the item the same amount. That item can be used for 2 castings before it is consumed. By paying double the base item cost and covering it completely, the item can be used 4 times before it is consumed. Takes 30 per spell level to complete.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Integrate the Characters

When you’re setting up a game’s story, no matter the system or genre, you want your players to engage with the story. You want them to care. You need to integrate their characters into the narrative. Remember all that communication we talked about above? This is the first place where it pays off. Once you have a good idea of who the player characters are, think about what motivates them. What do they want? Who do they love or hate? What places or things are important to them? The best stories aren’t you telling the players what happens, nor are they reacting to whatever whims strike the players. The best stories come about from an interplay, and that starts on your end. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a published adventure, or presenting something you created yourself, look at the overall story that you’re going to present, and identify the characters, places, events, and things that are important to that story. Once you have those key points in mind, start looking for ways to tie the player characters to them.

-Kobold Guide to Gamemastering-

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

A Shifty Sale

At higher levels in Dungeons and Dragons money isn’t usually an issue. As the character raid lost tombs, take on dangerous quests, or even loot the corpses of their victims. But, the early life of an adventurer can be tough on the coin pouch. While there are near limitless ways to make money, some require some sort of work. Well, with this strategy, you can earn money indefinitely, so long as you travel regularly.

One of the most valuable resource in fantasy is cattle and beasts of burden such as horses or oxen. A horse for instance is worth 50 Gp. If a character in the group can convince a druid to turn into a horse. They can then wandering into a small town and sell the horse. Just to have the druid shape shift back later and leave. Of course, releasing some other animals to hide suspicion.

RPG Phatloot Giveaway: Dunwood - Demons, Druids, & Danger by Joe Raso

This Forgotten Realms sourcebook provides nine new adventures and plenty of background lore to start adventuring in and around the forest once known as Rawlinswood.

Even if you're not interested in the Forgotten Realms, the adventure's contained within can easily be dropped into most campaign settings.

Winner: emomonkey09

Didn’t win? Np, head towww.critacademy.com and subscribe for your chance to win.

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